A man in his 30s, who was pulled from the sea by a rescue helicopter off the Wirral coastline has died, police have confirmed.
Wirral Coastguard Rescue team and lifeboats from RNLI stations at West Kirby, Hoylake and Flint were all called into action alongside a rescue helicopter shortly before 4pm on Saturday (June 12), following a call by Holyhead MRCC to search for a Kayaker in difficulty in water close to West Kirby.
West Kirby RNLI's volunteer crew launched within 10 minutes and upon finding an empty kayak, requested the launch of Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft and the HM Coastguard helicopter.
West Kirby RNLI commenced a search pattern to attempt to locate the casualty as did Hoylake RNLI’s hovercraft from the opening of the estuary adjacent to Hilbre Island.
Flint RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was also launched and a search of the Welsh side of the estuary carried out. West Kirby RNLI’s BV tractor searched the waterline alongside a search of the shoreline by local HM Coastguard units.
One casualty returned to shore unaided and the second casualty was located by HM Coastguard helicopter who immediately transferred this casualty to a hospital in Liverpool.
In a statement, Merseyside Police said: "We can confirm that Merseyside Police were called to the death of a man in his 30s rescued from the water off the coast of Caldy on Saturday (June 12).
"Around 5pm we received a report from the Coastguard that a man had fallen from his kayak into the water and was swept away by the current.
"The man was rescued by the Coastguard and taken to hospital via helicopter. Sadly, he was declared deceased a short time later.
"The man’s next of kin have been informed.
"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner."
Speaking following the call out, but before the fatality had been confirmed, Richard Diamond, West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: "We would encourage people to carry a means of calling for help and keep it on you.
"If you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, fight your instincts and float until the effects of the cold water shock pass. Float to live.”